Tightened security to remain the same at U, public facilities

by Amy Hackbarth

The bombing of Afghanistan will not directly affect security measures at the University or at local stadiums and airports, officials said Sunday.

Many organizations said they increased security after the Sept. 11 attacks and had no plans to further tighten security.

The University Police Department, as well as the University’s emergency management department, said the bombings will not prompt a security increase on campus.

“We always evaluate security after something happens, but I don’t expect a change to occur,” said University police Chief George Aylward.

Judson Freed, deputy director of emergency management at the University, said University administration officials will discuss the Afghanistan bombings and possible ramifications Monday, but he doesn’t expect reactionary measures will be taken.

“It’s not like this is unexpected,” Freed said. “If Afghanistan retaliates it could change our response. Otherwise we’ll just keep watching this.”

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which tightened security in the form of armed National Guardsmen on Friday, has no plans to further strengthen security, said Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman.

“We’ve been increasing security measures gradually since the attacks on Sept. 11,” he said. “We’ll continue to do that regardless.”

Anna Lewicki, senior airman for the National Guard, said the Guard has no plans to increase the number of guards patrolling the airport.

Currently 103 guardsmen patrol the airport.

St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center will not tighten security beyond Sept. 11 efforts, said Jim Ibister, vice president of Rivercentre operations for the St. Paul Arena Company.

The arena increased security measures last month by conducting periodic building sweeps, looking at cameras more closely and heightening security at entrances, Ibister said.

“We’re about as secure as you could get,” he said. “We take everyone’s safety first and foremost and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

Seattle’s Husky Stadium, site of the Jacksonville and Seattle NFL game at 3 p.m. Sunday, didn’t alter security measures because many fans were already seated, a spokeswoman said.

And news of the bombings in Afghanistan prompted football fans at Chicago’s Soldier Field to chant “U.S.A.,” CNN reported Sunday.


Amy Hackbarth welcomes comments at [email protected]